Chapter 1 - Another Chance



Canon: Baseline
Series: Plainswalking
Canon: Baseline Series: Plainswalking

Chapter 1 - Another Chance


The young boy trudged weakly through the snow, his ankles burning. He had not a clue to where he was. The blanket of soft, white snow before him did not assist in determination. He tried to look beyond the snow storm, in hope that something may be there for him. But with each gradual step he took, the blank, pearlescent canvas stretched evermore beyond the horizon.

His blood pounded through his veins, desperately attempting to keep him warm, to keep him marching on; But it couldn't keep going much longer.

I'm going to die out here.

The boy could feel his body shutting down. His bones were brittle. His flesh was lifeless, and pale. His eyes had begun to moisten. He began to cry, his wails echoing across the empty valley… but nobody answered.

Where am I? He asked himself miserably.

With his head already pounding, his ears ringing, his vision fading, he knew this was it. His feet crunched the freshly packed snow beneath them. His head had begun to ring violently. He was almost gone now.

Before he made contact with the ground, a hand gripped the back of his shirt's neck. The boy could briefly feel the soft leather of the glove enveloping the hand. Before he could turn around, he was blinded by a flashing of light…

And then, he saw nothing.

Adrik watched the boy shiver before him, tens of blankets wrapped around his person. Adrik could not remember what a bed looked like, but he had recalled that blankets brought warmth. He never needed them, but this boy clearly did.

It had been mere chance he had found the pathetic creature as it dragged itself through the snow. For a universe as deceased as this one, a falling star was not a common sight. Yet, its impact had shaken him from a deep sleep, and he immediately left his quarters to investigate.

His quest had led him to a place once known as the town of Slavgorod, formerly renowned by those who had once lived there for its snow storms. There, he found no star. Only the boy.

A cough interrupted Adrik's thoughts. His gaze snapped to the boy, who was slowly, but surely, drifting into consciousness. Adrik leaned against the wall and drummed his fingers against the wall, waiting patiently.

The boy finally cracked a single eye open. He attempted to take in the room around him. The room was nothing more than a mahogany prison cell; rough wooden floors, a bizarre painting, and a single, stained glass window. And next to the window, the boy finally noticed Adrik's shadowy figure.

"Where am I?" The boy asked, speaking softly, with an Irish twang. Adrik tilted his head in response. He speaks English. Adrik attempted to remember how to speak the language. He had not done so in many years. Not since his conversation with the being of light. The way he saw it, this was another unwelcome visitor intruding into his dimension. Where are they coming from?

"Sir?" The boy asked again. Adrik snapped away from his thinking, fixing his attention to the boy again. He stormed over, towering over the boy.

"Who are you?" He asked, his voice drained of any emotion. The heavily coated Russian accent took the boy a moment to process, but he attempted to answer the question.

"… I think…" the boy mumbled, confused. "I… I'm not sure. I don't know what my name is-"

"How did you get here?"

"I… I don't know-"

"Lies," he answered. "Where is the gateway? Where did you get here from?"

"I, uh… Gateway?" The boy mumbled in confusion. What is going on?

Adrik retreated slowly back to the wall beyond the window. For many years, Adrik's mind had been a spider's web; a tangle of threads and string. Nonetheless, he made an effort to search it for theories, explanations, anything that could answer the several questions that slowly cooked in his mind.

"I do not know why you are here," Adrik answered coldly. "It does not make sense."

The boy and Adrik's pointless questions were interrupted by a strong, unpleasant mechanical ressonance. Adrik looked out of the window, as did the boy. The Ossa, a grand, mechanical guard of Adrik's perfect home stormed by, each footstep shaking the earth around them. The boy looked upon it in horror. He fell from the table he lied upon, crawling to the other side of the wall, as far away as possible. Adrik looked towards him, acknowledging his fear. That's what it was built for, after all, his mind echoed.

Adrik had a predicament. If this boy could not remember who he was or where he came from, then he'd have to look for the gateway himself. Then he would send him back. But it was an awful lot of trouble. He much preferred killing the boy, ridding himself of the baggage. But there was something about him. His cold, sharp blue eyes. His chiselled jaw. His soft, brown hair. This boy reminded him of someone. But who?

Adrik stopped. He remembered.

"Alexei," he murmured.

He looked towards the scared and confused boy, instantly comparing the faces of the two. They were almost identical.

Is this a gift? Adrik pondered. Has someone beyond me, beyond the power of the stone… Returned my boy to me?

He slowly moved towards the boy, kneeling before him. He placed a gloved hand on his head, angling it so the two were facing. Tears had streamed down the boy's eyes.

"Forgive me," Adrik murmured quietly. "I have not seen anyone in some time. I did not think the Ossas would frighten anyone for many years." The boy continued to cry, his confusion only added to.

Adrik wrapped his arms around the boy. He could not remember what constituted affection anymore, but whatever this feeling was, to have his son returned to him… It just felt right. He felt the boy's arms wrap around him in response, and he sobbed softly into Adrik's shoulder. Adrik patted his back softly.

"There," he whispered. "There."


From the sky, they watched.

They watched the seed of bonding flourish beneath them, just as planned.

The only predicament left was to ensure all balance had been restored.

They restored the boy in new form. A carbon copy of what had been delivered below. Once they had finished their work, they whisked it away, back to the place the original had been plucked from. Back to Earth, to carry out a life not meant for it.

At least, until its time came.

With all work done, and the pieces in place, they had all come to a consensus.

It was time to wait.

For the boy to form and break a bond.

For the solder to discover the truth.

For the hunter to finally complete his mission.

For the light to shine in the darkest place of all.

And the god to bleed his first drop of blood.

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